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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 27, 2005 / 17 Shevat, 5765

More on adopting Nixon's Vietnamization program to Iraq

By Jack Kelly


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Readers reacted with much skepticism and more than a little mirth to my assertion in an earlier column that President Nixon's Vietnamization program was a good model to follow for success in Iraq. Obviously, more explanation is needed.

South Vietnam fell in April, 1975, when North Vietnam invaded and Congress reneged on a pledge to support South Vietnam with U.S. air power, if North Vietnam should breach the terms of the Paris Peace Accords which, in January, 1973, had ended the war on terms acceptable to us.

To say we won the Vietnam War before we lost it sounds like something John Kerry might say, but it's the truth.

The Vietnam War was won in the 11 days between December 18th and December 30th, 1972. That was the time of the "Christmas bombing" of Hanoi and Haiphong, the only time in the war that we used strategic air power against strategic targets in North Vietnam.

"After those 11 days you had won the war, it was all over!" said Sir Robert Thompson, the British counterinsurgency expert. "They had fired 1242 SAMs (surface to air missiles), they had none left, and what would have come in over land from China would have been a mere trickle. They and their whole rear base at that point would be at your mercy. They would have taken any terms. And that is why, of course, you actually got a peace agreement in January, which you had not been able to get in October."

Even before the Christmas bombing, the ground war was well in hand, despite (or perhaps because of) a draw down in U.S. forces from 550,000 in 1968 to 69,000 by the end of 1972.

The catalyst was the replacement of Gen. William Westmoreland with Gen. Creighton Abrams after the Tet Offensive in 1968. Westmoreland — perhaps the stupidest American ever to wear four stars — thought he could win a war of attrition against North Vietnam. His strategy of "search and destroy" resulted in thousands of unnecessary American deaths, and the deaths of tens of thousands of Vietnamese civilians as "collateral damage."

Abrams emphasized protection of the South Vietnamese population by protecting key areas; attacking the enemy's "logistics nose," and building up South Vietnam's forces. (Read the details in military historian Lewis Sorley's magnificent "A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedies of America's Last Years in Vietnam.")

The proof came in the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive of 1972, a much larger cross border invasion than the 1975 invasion. Outnumbered South Vietnamese troops, backed by American air power and naval gunfire, crushed the North Vietnamese.

America made many, many mistakes in Vietnam. But the vast majority of these were made when Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson was president, and Westmoreland was CINC MACV. Air Force Gen. T.R. Milton noted that the war could have been won at any time from the Gulf of Tonkin incident until the Christmas bombing:

"In those critical years between 1964 and 1968, before American public opinion had become mesmerized, the truly critical targets were given sanctuary," Milton wrote. "Instead, our airplanes were to go on giving signals. The places where the signals were to be given soon became predictable to the North, and our pilots paid the price."

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The war ultimately was lost because American public opinion turned against it. The turning point was the Tet Offensive of Jan. 30th, 1968. This was widely described in our news media as a victory for the Viet Cong, when in fact it was precisely the opposite.

The Viet Cong achieved strategic surprise (Westmoreland was asleep at the switch), but the Americans and South Vietnamese fought back ferociously, and the VC were all but totally destroyed. Never again would guerrillas be anything other than a minor nuisance. The fighting after Tet was with North Vietnamese regular units, infiltrated into the South through Laos and Cambodia.

Walter Cronkite lied then as much as Dan Rather does now. He just wasn't caught out. (Read the gory details of media misrepresentation of Tet in Peter Braestrup's "The Big Story.")

The only similarity between the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq is that the news media, once again, are mangling the truth in ways beneficial to our enemies.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, Jack Kelly